Watkins Glen: Farnbacher Loles Racing race report

Farnbacher Loles takes first and third at Watkins Glen! Watkins Glen, NY - By all measures it was a near perfect day for the Farnbacher Loles Racing team. In Saturday's Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen, the ...

Farnbacher Loles takes first and third at Watkins Glen!

Watkins Glen, NY - By all measures it was a near perfect day for the Farnbacher Loles Racing team. In Saturday's Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen, the #87 of Leh Keen and Dirk Werner and the #86 of Eric Lux and Wolf Henzler started 1-2 and finished 1-3. It was the team's second double podium in the last three races and moved Keen and Werner into the points lead. The #88 of Steve Johnson, Dave Lacey and Jack Baldwin picked up two spots to finish in ninth.

The Farnbacher Loles Racing team showed good pace from the first practice with Wolf Henzler leading the time sheets up until qualifying, where he was edged out by his teammate Werner. The front row starting position proved to be an advantage for the drivers as they were able to utilize the clean air and lack of traffic early on to set a good pace. Both cars ran at the front with the #86 and 87 combining to lead 116 of the total 178 GT Class laps. In an amazing show of consistency and preparation, during the opening stint, Werner and Henzler turned nearly identical fast laps, with Werner turning a 1:52.290 to Henzler's 1:52.292.

The race ran fairly drama free until the final 20 minutes when Henzler, running in fourth, set his sights on Robin Liddell in third. Henzler caught up with the Pontiac and pulled off a stellar pass heading into the chicane to take the spot. Unfortunately, a late yellow flag kept him from catching the second place car, but during his pursuit, Henzler set the race's fastest lap with a blistering 1:50.897. With the win, Keen and Werner now hold an eight-point lead in the championship while Eric Lux moves up to fourth overall, only five points out of third.

Leh Keen watched his co-driver take the checker from the pits. "This is what we've been waiting for. Coming into this race, we wanted to take over the points lead. Winning the race was a real bonus. Out of the box, the car was awesome. The team and the race were flawless. We have as much momentum as you could want after three straight podiums. I'm really looking forward to Mid-Ohio where I won last year."

Dirk Werner savored the victory as well. "The race went perfect for us. We had great pit stops and no mistakes while driving. The key was to get to the last hour with no problems and then bring it to the finish. Leh did a fantastic job, too. We really deserved this win."

Eric Lux enjoyed his second podium of the season. "The car was great right off the trailer. Wolf did an awesome job with the pass on Liddell. I've got to thank Farnbacher Loles for giving us such a great car and to Wheel enhancement for coming onboard as a sponsor. I can't wait for Mid-Ohio."

Wolf Henzler was glad for the podium finish but also considered what might have been. "When I was behind Robin at the end, I was obviously catching him. He had been in the car for two hours while I was fresh. I was able to out-brake him into the bus-stop. Once I got by, I thought I could catch the second place Pontiac as well. But the yellow flag came out and ended the race. I really gave it everything I had, everything the car had and everything the track had. The cooler temperatures helped us with tire wear. I'm sure we'll have harder races this year, but for now we'll enjoy this."

Steve Johnson was pleased with his second straight top ten finish at the Six Hours of The Glen. "The car was really great. For us to run in the top ten, says a lot. Dave and Jack were great while the Farnbacher Loles team did an amazing job. This is a fantastic organization. Every team has great drivers. It is the team around them that creates champions."

Team principal Gregory Loles looked on as his drivers sprayed champagne from the podium. "This was a excellent team effort. The Porsches ran flawlessly today. Even more significant, the win puts us into the championship lead. The cooler temperatures allowed us to keep the tires under the car and run consistent lap times. We're going to enjoy this victory."

The series now travels to Mid-Ohio for the EMCO GEARS CLASSIC on June 20.

-credit: flr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Robin Liddell , Jack Baldwin , Dave Lacey , Wolf Henzler , Steve Johnson , Lehman Keen , Eric Lux , Dirk Werner